Six Whooping Cough Cases Confirmed In Central Texas

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BELL COUNTY (August 1, 2014) Six cases of whooping cough have been confirmed in the past two weeks in Bell County, health officials said Friday.

The youngest resident diagnosed with the disease is a 3-year-old, said Lacey Sanders, the Bell County Health District’s disease surveillance coordinator.

"There's not a source of a case, but they are all over the place, which is common," she said.

"Half of the cases are out of Killeen and they are kids, and half are adults and they are located in others places."

The last major outbreak in the county was reported three years ago, she said.

Officials said parents need to be aware of the disease, as children prepare for the upcoming school year.

"We want to make sure that if their child has been coughing for longer than 10 days that they follow up with their provider and talk to their provider because we are still in a pertussis state wide outbreak," she said.

"Children who have been vaccinated are not going to have a whoop sound that's common with pertussis. So that should be the only diagnosis criteria that you look at."

She said anyone with the disease is contagious for 20 days.

"It's one of the longest infectious periods of any disease," she said.

"If they are having those coughing fits in the morning and coughing fits in the evening and they've been coughing greater than 10 days they need to ask their physician to do a pertussis swab."

None of the six diagnosed with the disease required hospital treatment, she said.

The last major outbreak in the county was reported three years ago, she said.